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Kachikwu Advised to Exit Buhari’s Cabinet

The dust raised by the minister of state for petroleum resources, Ibe Kachikwu, over the unilateral award of hefty oil and gas contracts totaling about $25 billion by the group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Maikanti Baru, has taken a twist, as the presidency is considering taking actions against the minister having cleared the NNPC boss of any infraction.

The Nation reported that the fate of Kachikwu in the current administration is unsure following the allegation he made against the NNPC GMD, Maikanti Baru. President Muhammadu Buhari is considering taking punitive actions against Kachikwu after having found Baru not guilty of corrupt practices in the unilateral award of the $25bn contracts on Monday night, October 9. The minister is said to be strategising with his associates, stakeholders and colleagues on his next move now that he appears to have has fallen out favour with the current regime. The newspaper stated that one of the lifelines suggested to Kachikwu by his colleagues was to voluntarily exit Buhari’s cabinet to preserve his integrity after it was clear that the presidency might have backed Baru.

Speaking on the issue, a top government source speaking to reporters said that President Buhari was displeased by the development and refused to take any immediate decision because his image and the reputation of his administration were involved.

The president Buhari felt the unfounded allegation raised by Kachikwu scandalised his administration in the public eye.

A highly-placed stakeholder who spoke about Kachikwu’s travails said the minister was consulting with some vital players in the oil sector about what transpired. “I am aware that the minister has been holding consultations and telling some vital players in the oil sector what transpired. “Of importance to him is the allegation of alleged plot to sabotage the government of President Buhari with the leakage of the August 20 memo. He has maintained his innocence that he did not leak the letter. “But it is tragic that no one believes Kachikwu’s story anymore in the Presidency,” the source said.

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